Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump arrive onstage for the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis last month. (Jim Bourg/AFP via Getty Images)

For many American families, thousands of dollars in taxes depend on the result of Tuesday's presidential election.

If you're curious about what the candidates' proposals on taxes would mean for your family, you can check out an online calculator published by the Tax Policy Center this week, which provides detailed predictions based on the number of people in your family, your income, your expenses and other factors.

“The biggest problem in this campaign is the lack of focus on actual policies,” said Roberton Williams, an expert at the center. “Our idea there is just to help people understand how the taxes could affect them.”

Play around with the calculator, and it will spit out a few surprises. Trump has promised major reductions in taxes, while Clinton would propose steep new hikes — but these changes would mainly affect wealthy households. As for other families, both candidates would ask some to pay less and others to pay more.

“Some people will find that 'Trump is promising me a tax cut, and I don't get a tax cut,' " Williams said.

For a reasonably accurate, custom estimate, you can check out the calculator yourself, click on the button labeled “Create Your Own Scenario” and enter detailed information about your own family. The calculator does not, however, account for several of the more complex provisions of the candidates' plans or the overall effect the proposals would have on the broader economy — a question that politicians can debate.

Alternatively, you can keep reading here for a look at a few examples of how the candidates' plans would affect different kinds of people.

1. Single childless taxpayer

  • Annual cash income: $46,074
  • Clinton's proposal: No change in taxes
  • Trump's proposal: Tax cut of $1,059

First, consider a single taxpayer with a salary of $46,000 a year — someone at the 80th percentile of income for single people. Under Clinton's plan, there would be no change in what this taxpayer owes — about $11,000 a year. Trump's plan would reduce that amount substantially, to less than $10,000 a year.

Under his proposal, this taxpayer would owe nothing at all on the first $15,000 in income, compared with $10,350 in the current system. Trump would also reduce the marginal rate from 15 percent to 12 percent.

2. Middle-class married retirees

  • Annual cash income: $58,674
  • Clinton's proposal: No change in taxes
  • Trump's proposal: Tax cut of $645

The case of two married retirees in the middle class — with a total income of about $59,000, the national median for similar households — is also straightforward. There would be no change in their taxes under Clinton's plan, while under Trump's plan, reduced rates would cut their taxes from about $1,800 to about $1,200 a year.

3. Affluent married parents with a child in college

  • Annual cash income: $158,546
  • Clinton's proposal: No change in taxes
  • Trump's proposal: Tax increase of $119

Now consider a married couple who are well off — again, at the 80th percentile of income for similar households — and who have one child in college. As before, there would be no change in the taxes they would owe under Clinton's proposal. They would continue to pay about $39,000 a year.

Under Trump's plan, though, these parents would pay a tad more in taxes. Although they would benefit from reduced marginal rates, Trump would eliminate the personal exemption, which allows families to pay less in taxes based on the number of people in the household. In the current system, those personal exemptions give a substantial advantage to a family of three, which they would lose under Trump's plan.

As in the case of the single taxpayer, neither spouse would pay any taxes on the first $15,000 of income, for a total deduction of $30,000 for both of them. That might not be much help for them, though, because they probably take nearly that much off their taxable income in itemized deductions in the current system.

On the whole, Trump's plan would simplify their taxes, allowing them to avoid itemizing deductions, but they would wind up paying more.

4. Middle-class married parents with two children

  • Annual cash income: $88,588
  • Clinton's proposal: Tax cut of $1,000
  • Trump's proposal: Tax cut of $572

A family of four in the middle class — with one adolescent, one toddler and a household income at the national median for similar households — would pay less in taxes under both candidates' plans. The tax relief would be more generous under Clinton's plan, though.

Clinton would double the tax credit for children younger than 5, giving this family an extra $1,000 for their toddler.

This family would benefit from the reduced marginal rates under Trump's plan, but as in the previous example, these benefits are lessened by the loss of the personal exemption.

5. Low-income single parent with two children

  • Annual cash income: $9,904
  • Clinton's proposal: Tax cut of $2,070
  • Trump's proposal: Tax cut of $8

The differences in the candidates' tax plans would be especially important for poor single parents.

Currently, such families often receive financial help from the government in the form of credits rather than paying taxes. This family — including one parent, one toddler and one adolescent — with an income at the 20th percentile for similar households would receive about $2,000 more under Clinton's plan. There would be essentially no change in the family's credit under Trump's plan.

This family would not only benefit from Clinton's plan to double the tax credit for toddlers. Clinton's plan would also allow this family to claim the maximum allowable credit, in contrast to the current system, which denies the full value of the credit to poor families as a way of rewarding them when they increase their earnings.

In total, Clinton would increase the credit this family receives from $930 to $3,000. Adding the tax credit for earned income and subtracting taxes on payroll, this family's total credit would increase from about $4,600 to about $6,700.

Trump's plan would give this family a small refund on the cost of child care, worth about $8. The family would not benefit from Trump's plan to eliminate taxes on the first $15,000 in income, because the family does not make that much money anyway.

6. Wealthy married couple with no children

  • Annual cash income: $3,155,760
  • Clinton's proposal: Tax increase of $22,932
  • Trump's proposal: Tax cut of $312,312

For the wealthy, the candidates' differences on taxes add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. They would benefit enormously from the reduction in rates under Trump's plan. Clinton, by contrast, would impose a broad range of new taxes on the rich, including a new minimum tax of 30 percent on wealthy households. She would also place a surtax on households with incomes above $5 million, and she would increase taxes on gains from certain investments.

According to the calculator, a typical married couple with no children in the richest percentile of similar households — that is, with an annual income of about $3.2 million — would pay about $23,000 more under Clinton's plan. Trump's proposal would reduce this couple's taxes by more than $300,000.